A Look At Thomas Heckroth And His 1st District Run

Thomas Heckroth has a constant reminder of his small-town roots at home: his goldendoodle puppy, “Waverly,” named after the Bremer County town he grew up in. Back in 2006 he knocked doors in that county and nearby ones for his father’s successful run for state senate. Now he’s back in Iowa, following ten years out of the state for school and working in Tom Harkin’s office and in the private sector in New York, to run for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District. “Serving the community and your country has been in my family for a long time,” Heckroth explained to […]

Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase. It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or […]

Abby Finkenauer Raises $155,000+ In Quarter For 1st District

State Representative Abby Finkenauer brought in an impressive fundraising haul for her first reporting quarter as a candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, a key swing seat that Democrats hope to retake in 2018. Her campaign told Starting Line they raised over $155,000 from over 550 donors, the majority of which were in Iowa, this quarter. Finkenauer, 28, a two-term Democratic state legislator from Dubuque, officially announced her candidacy back on May 3. The Northeast Iowa 1st District seat, which includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque, has been heavily targeted by national and state Democrats since Republican Rod Blum won […]

EMILY’s List Endorses Abby Finkenauer In 1st District

State Representative Abby Finkenauer got a big boost in her quest to take on Republican Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District today. EMILY’s List, the major political advocacy group that helps elect pro-choice women, endorsed Finknauer today. “Abby’s record stands in stark contrast with a Trump ‘yes man’ like Rep. Rod Blum, who supported the catastrophic bill to take health care away from an estimated 23 million people and has called the investigation into Russian interference with the American election ‘political theatrics,’” said Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List. “The working families of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District need […]

Can We Start Focusing On The More Winnable Races Now?

Kim Weaver’s candidacy has ended, and a follow-up story from the Des Moines Register raised serious questions about her reasoning for doing so. But whatever, it’s time to move on. Hopefully, part of moving on for Iowa Democratic activists will be a renewed focus on the 1st and 3rd congressional districts. Barring something incredibly dramatic, those two races will be much closer than the deep-red 4th District. And their outcome could very well determine whether Democrats retake the U.S. House and thus are able to launch actual investigations into the Trump Administration. One could make a very compelling argument that the congressional […]

After Rod Blum’s Forum, My Mixed Feelings On The Anger And Lies

There was a moment about halfway through last night’s town hall in Cedar Rapids when a guy everyone seems to know, Dale Todd, approached our congressman with his teen son Adam. Into the mic, he said he was going to bring the discussion back to health care–maybe the third or fourth question on the topic in the first 40 minutes of what would be a 90 minute event. Mr. Todd specifically wanted to talk about waivers and Medicaid. “Adam has a rare form of epilepsy,” he said. “He is on Medicaid, and will be for his entire life. His school […]

Father Confronts Rod Blum On Medicaid Cuts That May Harm His Son

Iowa Republican Congressman Rod Blum had to look directly into the face of one of his constituents who might get hurt the most by the recent AHCA vote at his Cedar Rapids forum last night. Dale Todd, a well-known local businessman and political advocate, brought his son Adam, who has Lennox-Gastaut epilepsy and autism, up to ask Blum a question after his name was drawn. Standing in front of around 1,200 residents of Blum’s 1st District in the Kirkwood Community College gymnasium, Todd explained how his son relies on Medicaid assistance. “Adam has epilepsy, a very rare disease,” Todd told Blum […]

Rod Blum’s Walkout Goes Viral

In one of the bigger unforced political errors of the year, Iowa’s 1st District Congressman Rod Blum walked out in the middle of an interview with reporter Josh Scheinblum of KCRG yesterday. It only took a few hours for the story to work it’s way on up to the national level. Now the video is up on CNN, on the front page of the Huffington Post and is making its way through most national news outlets. GOP lawmaker walks out during interview with local TV station https://t.co/sDH9g8woX0 pic.twitter.com/Zc2ZxUuwvq — The Hill (@thehill) May 9, 2017 This is, um, odd https://t.co/9iRFfOfWXy — Chris Cillizza […]

Why I Asked Rod Blum About His Interview Walkout

My name is Dallas, and I got to ask a question to Representative Rod Blum about his TV interview walkout during his town hall last night. I turned 22 seven days ago and am currently a student at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. May 20th is graduation day for me and my fellow DuHawks, and I still don’t understand how four years went by so quickly. I’ve enjoyed my four years living in the city residents proudly describe as the Masterpiece on the Mississippi, because Dubuque has given me all the opportunities for growth I could have asked for. I’m […]

Payback Time: Iowans Vow Revenge For AHCA Vote

Despite a deluge of phone calls, emails and in-person meetings from concerned Iowans, Iowa Republican Congressmen Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King all voted in favor of the AHCA healthcare bill. The legislation that repealed many provisions of the ACA passed by just two votes. Had any two of those Iowa members flipped their vote, it would have gone back to the drawing board. Democrat Dave Loebsack was the lone no from the state’s delegation. Reaction to the vote in Iowa was swift and overwhelmingly negative online and among people who need their healthcare coverage to live. The bill will take […]